Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
13 Dec

What Would Grok Do?

Cover Only LoRes croppedI have to admit I’m still caught up in the excitement of last week’s launch of the new Healthy Sauces, Dressings & Toppings cookbook. (Favorites yet, anyone?) But wouldn’t you know – there’s more in the hopper. In a few short weeks I’ll be releasing The Primal Connection, the long planned sequel to The Primal Blueprint. As friends and colleagues within the ancestral movement have so generously described, The Primal Connection offers the first really new dimension in the paleo/Primal space in years. Is there any better way to start the new year – not to mention the fact that we all survived the Mayan apocalypse? In all seriousness, I’ve been pumped about this launch for months now. Like The Primal Blueprint, The Primal Connection is both a culmination and expansion of principles I’ve first introduced here on MDA. Inherent to The Primal Connection is the concept that we can use the model of our ancestors to create not just a healthier existence but also a more balanced and fulfilling life.

Simply put, there’s harmony and homeostasis to be found in congruence with our Primal roots – including those that go well beyond diet and exercise. Examining the conditions under which we evolved can shed light on why we think the way we do, why we’re satisfied (or unsatisfied) by certain living conditions, and how our modern lifestyles so often miss the boat and leave us psychologically stranded. I’ll call it the Grok principle, which begets the somewhat tongue-in-cheek but remarkably serviceable mantra – ”What Would Grok Do?”

I mean, of course, no offense to those who embrace the original religious connotation of the popular query. For better or worse, the question has gone the way of cultural meme, and it was time our Primal icon got in on the self-development action. In essence, when we live with full consciousness of fundamental truths about these human forms of ours, we’re more in control of ourselves and of our chance at health and happiness in this lifetime. Do our evolutionary patterns dictate our each and every thought, action, and reaction? (a.k.a. Hominids will be hominids.) Of course not. Make no mistake, however: they’re in on the conscious and unconscious deliberations for all of the above.

Some would argue we were little more than desperate, grunting savages before the Neolithic Revolution some 10,000 years ago (never mind that hunting and gathering continued in most parts of the world for thousands of years past the Neolithic beginnings – and still continues today). Many believe we didn’t truly become cognitively and culturally “human” until we settled down on farms. The truth is, we made our critical cognitive leaps and developed anatomically modern brains tens of thousands of years before we were plowing fields. We developed expanded social constructs, explored artistic methods, and invented cultural rituals while we were still foraging. The result: these conditions under which our modern human brains evolved continue to influence our innate expectations today.

When we look at the rising rates of stress, anxiety, and burnout, what do you think our evolutionary blueprints have to teach us about recovering a sense of emotional balance? The answer is much more than you might think. Living in congruence with basic patterns of our past doesn’t explain or remedy every problem we’ll face. We’re designed, after all, to live a full spectrum of emotional experience and witness life (and death) in raw, unfiltered form. The Grok principle, however, helps us examine our lives against the basic parameters of evolutionary conditions. It gives us perspective on what we think is big but is not, what we think is crucial but is not, what we imagine to be optional but is not. Asking ourselves what Grok would do opens our field of vision beyond the priorities of modern society and helps us hone in on the the original significance of certain emotions, on the original impetus for certain instincts or motivations, on the original social and environmental frameworks for relationships and self development.

When we acknowledge the legitimacy and limitations of these primal influences, we’re better equipped to understand our fundamental needs as well as more empowered to make fully conscious choices that fuel our personal wellbeing. The evolutionary lens can shed a revealing light on the widely diverse and confounding dimensions of this humanity of ours: what we need versus what our culture tells us we should want, what experiences are essential to actualizing our core primal potential, what lifestyle conditions tend to facilitate overall wellbeing. Why don’t 500 Facebook friends make us happy? What does city living do to us over time? Why do we feel inexplicably restless when life gets secure and predictable? It’s not just reflected in anthropological patterns. The results show in modern day studies of everything from hormonal profiles to health outcomes. In short, the Grok model offers a touchstone for daily living.

Back to the question of the day. Checking in with a “What would Grok do?” mindset can remind us of the power behind our default settings – both the vital needs and the untapped potential we often overlook in the bustle and confusion of modern living. The question can, in the thick of life, help us fully embrace or return to what really matters. It can encourage us to scrutinize our concept of thriving. It can remind us that the path to emotional as well as physical vitality is simpler and more achievable than we often think it is.

Now let me turn things over to you. In your estimation, what does it mean to play the “What Would Grok Do” game? How do you find yourself applying it in your own life? How has the general principle, if not the specific question itself, changed your life? Thanks for reading today, everyone. I’ll look forward to reading your revelations and experiences.

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. I agree with you, I think that having balance in our lives is really important for our happiness as well as our health. I had been planning on going into investment banking after I get an MBA and working 80+ hour weeks. I am rethinking that because I know I would be less healthy and miserable. Right now I work around 45 hours a week and I have plenty of time to work out, socialize, grocery shop, cook healthy meals and work on my website. If I worked twice as many hours that would be impossible. All I would have is work.

    Wayne Atwell wrote on December 13th, 2012
    • Do you have to always plug your copycat website? Or leave a comment? If your trying create your own primal following try offering something new or relevant or put different spin on it, instead always being so acquiescent.

      Dustin wrote on December 13th, 2012
      • Wayne’s site is a personal blog about his journey with the Paleo lifestyle, and adds good insight to the conversation here. Why do you get to judge who does and doesn’t belong here? If Mark has no problem with it, then it’s fine.

        BonzoGal wrote on December 13th, 2012
      • Hey, I like Wayne’s comments! Keep ‘em coming, Wayne!

        Terez wrote on December 13th, 2012
        • +1

          Brooke wrote on December 14th, 2012
      • I created my website because I am passionate about paleo/primal living and I am trying to make a difference and help people get healthy and lose fat. I enjoy commenting here because I love Mark’s articles and only one person in my real life actually follows paleo so I don’t have many people to have in depth discussion with about primal. As for being a copycat, I started my site a month before I even discovered MDA so I certainly wasn’t trying to copy Mark. I’ll admit I did get the idea for weekend links from MDA. Every topic has been written about before by someone and we all try to put our own spin on the same information.

        Wayne Atwell wrote on December 13th, 2012
        • Keep doing your thing Wayne!

          Lars T. wrote on December 13th, 2012
        • I also don’t have a problem with Wayne’s posts. There was one that injected a little political tribal thing one time, and I didn’t think was the kind of thing that MDA is for, and I said so, but he is obviously very passionate about the primal/paleo lifestyle, his posts are supportive of others. He does seem to like to post first, but at least he doesn’t do that lame “FIRST!” thing.

          I appreciate your contributions, Wayne.

          DuncaN wrote on December 13th, 2012
        • All great ideas are copied. Copying is one way great ideas translate to great actions, or turn into great products that reach the masses. Sisson and many groks and grokettes should be emulated. Keep trucking Wayne.

          Paleo Bon Rurgundy wrote on December 14th, 2012
        • go hard Wayne, it takes time and dedication to run a site, mine is a baby and without Mark and others inspiration we would all feel alone, and who cares if we sometimes draw on, copy, beg borrow and steal… in order to save our fellow humans we should all be so cheeky as to plug away… I love everyone’s comments, except those of the haters.

          Jane wrote on December 14th, 2012
        • Wayne, your blog is fantastic! Wish I’d found it sooner. Entertaining, practical, and inspiring. I love your writing style. Keep it coming!

          Timothy wrote on December 17th, 2012
      • +1

        Rob wrote on December 14th, 2012
      • We are all here for the right reasons it is good to hear different perspectives. If one person is often quicker off the blocks than the rest of us I suggest we all get up earlier work out sooner and get replying to Mark’s posts faster.

        And if I am being nit picky then there is not a link to Wayne’s site in his actual post so I am not sure how it is plugging his site.

        Pam R wrote on December 14th, 2012
      • I started slowing down and simplifying my life back at the turn of the century (I love that I can use that phrase!). I started going paleo/primal after Atkins wrote his book. When I discovered Mark earlier this year everything else fell into place. These concepts aren’t knew. Mark has just been clever and wise in putting it all together in a clear and easy to understand manner. It’s taken him a lot of time and research an it’s paid off for all of us. Thank you Mark!

        Ara wrote on December 14th, 2012
    • You do seem to have a knack for the first comment Wayne!

      I did the 80+ hrs investment banking, it crushes your soul a little bit more daily… steer clear, money is no substitute for happiness

      Patrice wrote on December 13th, 2012
      • Dont worry, even if he’s not first, he will still reply to the first comment so you get to see his avatar and link.

        Bobert wrote on December 13th, 2012
      • The timing is not difficult to figure out. Between 1100-1105 EST, MDA is refreshed with a new post.

        Paleo Bon Rurgundy wrote on December 13th, 2012
        • Is that AM or PM??? (not that I want to beat Wayne to the punch or anything) ;-)

          Dano wrote on December 14th, 2012
        • Oh…military time. I should have gotten that sooner. I used to work in TV and our clocks were always on military time.

          Dano wrote on December 14th, 2012
      • After 5 years of treatment i just got the all clear from breast cancer. The only trigger for me that i can think of for the cancer was stress!but now after recently just stumbling on PB i am interested in reprograming my genes to behave well by the impact of nutrition and lifestyle. Fate that i should be reading these comments, as today i went for a new job interview and the only thing stopping me was the drop in salary. however there would be a lot less stress and i see now that i need to think ‘what would Grok do’, and the answer is simple!!

        champions wrote on December 13th, 2012
        • Congratulations on being cancer free! I hope your new job is a welcome change. :)

          Brooke wrote on December 14th, 2012
        • Wonderful!

          Nancy Hill wrote on December 18th, 2012
    • Wayne, please don’t take the negative comments personally. I think they are unnecessary and in poor taste. Most of us are glad that you’re here–Keep up the good work!

      Sabrina wrote on December 14th, 2012
  2. Wow! What a fantastic post. WWGD? Many things including taking time to reflect, socialize and just be. That’s part of what I’ve learned here at MDA

    Happycyclegirl wrote on December 13th, 2012
  3. Hi Mark, been a follower of the Primal Blueprint for a few months now and have seen some great benefits in both my weight and health. The biggest thing I have taken away from your system is to learn to follow my instinct more. If I’m sitting at my computer at work and start feeling restless, I get up to walk and do a couple of stretches. When I go up the steps, I race up them as a form of mini-sprints. If I’m tired, I take a nap (not at work of course) instead of drinking coffee and just toughing it out. I try not to let the norms of society dictate how I should behave and have felt freer to explore new workouts and hobbies (you wouldn’t believe the looks you get when you pick and eat an edible weed in public…wood sorrel, mmmm). I guess that would be my WWGD takeaway.

    Jacob wrote on December 13th, 2012
    • Have you tried sorrel soup or sauces yet? I don’t get a chance to cook, but both sound good. It also perks up a “regular” salad.

      TruckerLady wrote on December 13th, 2012
      • I have not. Do you have any recipes? I usually just grab a sprig and munch on it raw. The zingy taste is refreshing.

        Jacob wrote on December 14th, 2012
  4. I played the the What Would Grok Do game at an intersection and almost got hit by a car! :)

    Groktimus Primal wrote on December 13th, 2012
    • lol! That was great. :-)

      Happycyclegirl wrote on December 13th, 2012
      • Maybe WWGD will start coming out in wristbands! Though, I don’t think Grok would express his love for his lifestyle by wristbands.

        Peacemaker wrote on December 13th, 2012
        • How about leather bracelets? :)

          Rachel wrote on December 13th, 2012
  5. This definitely serves as a nice reality check. I am just about to graduate with a bachelors degree and I’m trying to figure out what to do next. When I ponder WWGD, I find that I’m more open to the low key future with a smaller income if I am able to take care of myself and spend time with my loved ones. Maybe P.H.D. is too much, will I be happy with a big degree? Maybe massage therapy would be just as fulfilling and leave more time for me. These are the questions I am now asking, and I’m glad I have a slightly clearer vantage point to analyze from.

    Sambo712 wrote on December 13th, 2012
  6. I am hungy,find something to eat.Need more eggs, walk out to the chicken coop and get more eggs. Along the way play with the dog, jump in the snow and go cook some eggs to eat. I am tired ,time to take a nap.
    What would Grok do?

    ponymama wrote on December 13th, 2012
  7. This principle of WWGD, has taught me to live in the moment. I don’t have any expectations, I just go with the flow, and listen to what my body and instincts tell me. And let me tell you, my life is almost completely stress free now. That or I am just able to cope with it better. Either way, its a good feeling, and I seem to have it all the time now, along with almost seemingly endless energy.

    Patick wrote on December 13th, 2012
  8. Thanks for the new book Mark! Just got my sauces, dressings, and toppings – couldn’t be happier – wait yes I can – a new book to look forward to. I have to say that since moving to a much smaller home on 11 acres has made an incredible difference. I look forward to saying hello to my girls (flock of 7) and seeing what they left for me. A sunset at the end of the day shared with the hubs is inspiring. I wish I had done it sooner. The down side??? Well, I do vacuum alot more – but I’m ok with it.

    Shopping share for the gals…… 6pm.com has the New Balance trail minimus for 39.99 – these are so cute and comfortable and at 64% off – Affordable!!!

    Jennifer wrote on December 13th, 2012
    • Thanks for the tip on the shoes – I’ve been looking at those for a while but can’t afford to plunk down $100+ each time I want a pair of shoes. $39.95 is much better!

      JennF wrote on December 13th, 2012
      • Jenn – hope they had some left for you. I love to share a good deal.

        Jennifer wrote on December 13th, 2012
    • I just got my 3 book deal of the Primal Blueprint, Cook Book and Quick and Easy Meals. I can’t believe I waited so long! I like Wayne had started on my primal quest about 3 weeks before I discovered MDA. My father sent me a link to an article that had a link to MDA from a conference Mark had done. I was blown away when I realized I was on the right path. I had for years studied health and foods and finally put together what I felt was the proper diet/lifestyle for myself. Dr. Mercola had been a big influence as well as Laird Hamilton the surfer. Finding MDA helped keep me on the right path and gives me a wealth of information and inspiration. I lost 38 pounds in a healthy 8 months and regained my strength and energy like I was 20 again. As for Wayne plugging his site… hey, many of us are, including myself but it is this community spirit and Mark’s understanding that we all benefit by educating others to a more healthy lifestyle and I would bet that all these “copycat” sites are all giving praise back to MDA so it is a win win for all. Thanks Mark! Now I got to go start my Primal Chili ;-)

      Marco wrote on December 13th, 2012
  9. just looked on amazon, hard cover is available to preorder, is there going to be a kindle version?

    thanks for your efforts

    I’ve lost 55lbs in the last year, nearly got a six pack!!

    David UK

    Batesie wrote on December 13th, 2012
    • Hat tip David UK! Don’t stop.

      Paleo Bon Rurgundy wrote on December 13th, 2012
    • January 8th! It’s not a good Christmas gift after all. Boo hoo.

      Ion Freeman wrote on December 13th, 2012
      • Ion: It is a great Xmas gift, if you celebrate Orthodox Christmas in January.
        Or, pretend you celebrate it just to treat yourself to another lovely book!

        Hilda wrote on December 13th, 2012
    • Definitely need an iBooks version too!

      Ara wrote on December 14th, 2012
  10. As a Christian, I appreciate your sensitivity. But, WWJD is a commonly accepted snowclone. I think anyone you’re going to offend with it spends a lot of time offended already.

    Ion Freeman wrote on December 13th, 2012
    • You can apply all of this to Creation as well, like I do. It would just be a shorter book!

      gduke wrote on December 13th, 2012
      • “We’re designed, after all, to live a full spectrum of emotional experience and witness life (and death) in raw, unfiltered form.”

        I really like the language chosen in the quote above … “designed”. We were created with intention or purpose. So let’s be sensitive, focusing on what’s really important, and not be blinded by materialism. (See Ephesians 4)

        We can take the same observations and data, but approach from a different worldview, and come to different conclusions.

        And WWGD might actually be more appropriate than WWJD … none of us are willing or capable to DWJD. ;)

        CB wrote on December 13th, 2012
        • Lets stick to factually based knowledge and science and keep the religious nonsense out of this discussion. No need to take the word design out of context.

          PJinLA wrote on December 13th, 2012
        • “Lets stick to factually based knowledge and science and keep the religious nonsense out of this discussion”
          Do you have access to a (burning-bible-powered) time machine? Then “factually based knowledge” might not necessarily be the phrase you’re going for when discussing prehistorical times. What occurs on this website is using our God-given brains to reason and create theories and then test them; rejecting what doesn’t work and applying what does making it a learned and taught behavior.

          Religion is philosophy and philosophy is science applied to life. So to reject “religious nonsense” is to reject the concept of applying science to life. Raw boar meat may give you dangerous parasites; if meat is habitually consumed raw or close to it then it is not a safe meat to eat (voila, kosher). How about sociology and psychology? Coveting your neighbor’s woman is a good way to destroy civility. How about that desire is at the root of human suffering? A few examples, but don’t let me get in the way of your reinventing the wheel. It amazes me how people end up spending thousands of dollars on psychoanalysis overcoming self-destructive behaviors just to relearn what was or should have been taught as basic good citizen behaviors.

          Philosophy — religion — carried human language and the fundamental knowledge for maintaining a civilization for thousands of years. I realize it must be awesome to be smarter than the countless billions of souls the world over from the last 8,000+ years — but you may want to review how valuable the study of religion has been to anthropologists — as well as to the speakers of modern language.

          What would Grok do? Sit under the sacred fig tree and meditate to enlightenment. Perhaps fast 40 days and 40 nights. Nothing like a deep state of fasting ketosis to clarify the senses and allow the organs to heal from their duties.

          Oly wrote on December 13th, 2012
        • Nice trying trying to justify nonsense. I’m only interested in rigorous evidence based science. Anthropology/Palaeontology/all the other studies on prehistory, might not involve easily accessible evidence to actually study, but as you say, using our brains to reason and theorise our understanding of the natural world based on the evidence we do have is best done in the absence of supernatural hocus pocus.
          I could choose to take offence at claims I have a god-given brain, but thankfully I’m not easily offended, and certainly not by nonsense.

          PJinLA wrote on December 13th, 2012
        • God is what’s natural – the beginning of time; order out of chaos. Nothing “hocus pocus” about it. Oh, you don’t care for the word “God”? You resent the concept of a higher untouchable governing authority? That 2 + 2 = 4 for you, for me, here, there, on the moon, in Singapore, today, yesterday, millions of years ago? That you must breathe to live? That adultery is bad for relationships; and broken relationships are bad for health and happiness and reproduction? But you already have the answers and know which books may be burned.

          Science without philosophy is a science that isn’t long for the world.

          Oly wrote on December 14th, 2012
    • So does that make you a postively charged Ion Freeman?

      Paleo Bon Rurgundy wrote on December 13th, 2012
      • I found this little pun, hilarious. Surprised no one commented. Maybe I missed it. Hat tip for keeping the humor live.

        Kunal wrote on December 13th, 2012
        • Bon Rurgundy is one funny Grok!

          Dano wrote on December 14th, 2012
  11. I really appreciate this post. A switch to primal diet/ exercise had made a huge difference in my health but has had an equally profound effect on my emotional and spiritual side. I find myself being much more clear about what matters and what does not and very comfortable about articulating it. Thank you again, Mark and the community. And really looking forward to the book.

    Julia wrote on December 13th, 2012
  12. “It gives us perspective on what we think is big but is not, what we think is crucial but is not, what we imagine to be optional but is not.”

    Dig it. I’m stoked for this book!

    Dani wrote on December 13th, 2012
  13. Another book… Mark, Are you 20 people? :)

    Richard wrote on December 13th, 2012
    • Worker bees Richard, worker bees. hahaha

      Paleo Bon Rurgundy wrote on December 13th, 2012
      • I wonder if he’s hiring worker bees.

        Sarah wrote on December 13th, 2012
  14. Wonderful post! Cant wait for the new book!

    Dylan W wrote on December 13th, 2012
  15. I think Grok would tell us all to throw away the machines we use to communicate with, and start SEEING and SPEAKING TO EACH OTHER again! He’d likely use his stone knife to cut the cords that act to separate us digitally–this is the largest source of our stress and strife.

    Wenchypoo wrote on December 13th, 2012
    • Double-edged stone knife, that one.

      Madama Butterfry wrote on December 13th, 2012
    • Actually, there was a study recently that showed the warm fuzzy feelings you get while interacting with someone online are the same as the warm fuzzy feelings you get while interacting with someone face to face. So it’s not like texting with your best friend on the opposite coast is playing some chemical trick on your brain, like heroin or something. You’re not cheating yourself if you’re just using technology to maintain relationships over a distance.

      em wrote on December 15th, 2012
  16. I am sure that Grok was no different than us in terms of mental capability. I don’t think we can apply WWGD to every situation in our modern world. We have a different environment than Grok had. What I think is important as far as Primal living, is the fact that our BODIES are the same bodies that Groks had. They need the same food, sleep, exercise, etc. because that is how they evolved and on an evolutionary time scale our bodies have not had time to adapt to anything different. Emotionally, mentally, spiritually, we are not our bodies, but we do want to take care of our bodies and keep them healthy, since we have to live with them!

    Kerry Rogers wrote on December 13th, 2012
    • Human skulls have been shrinking, so if most liekly Grok had more brain matter. I attribute Peyton Manning’s abililty to read defenses to his ginormous head.

      Paleo Bon Rurgundy wrote on December 13th, 2012
      • As a Colts season ticket holder, love that comment!

        Benjamin wrote on December 13th, 2012
      • As someone with a huge cranium, I appreciate the compliment.

        Dano wrote on December 14th, 2012
      • I have not heard anything about our brain volume decreasing. I have heard that our skulls have become less fortified compared to even just a few hundred years ago, suggesting that the ability to survive a blow to the head has become less critical to our reproductive success. This seems like a generally good thing, all in all.

        em wrote on December 15th, 2012
  17. How does Grok create book art? Well, it looks like he takes a break from eating an antelope’s raw liver and slaps his blood-soaked hand on the wall! Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

    Moshen wrote on December 13th, 2012
  18. “The Primal Connection, the long planned sequel to The Primal Blueprint.”

    So the new ‘Primal Connection’ is a sequel to the Primal Blueprint. If your starting out do you need to read the Primal Blueprint first? or does the Primal Connection replace it?

    Not sure if its a sequel in the traditional sense or an update..

    Thanks,
    Aaron

    Aaron wrote on December 13th, 2012
    • The Primal Connection will stand on its own, and you won’t be lost if you haven’t read The Primal Blueprint. Where the PB was about building a strong, lean, and fit body through a Primal eating and exercise strategy, the PC is about building a healthy, happy, content and fulfilled life with a similar approach in thinking. So no, you don’t need to read the PB before the PC.

      Mark Sisson wrote on December 13th, 2012
  19. We are a Christian family and we also are primal. Not offended. To me it is one in the same. I happen to believe that Grok did not create himself. The genius behind the way Grok lived and how his body responded was God’s design. So WWJD and WWGD are the same question to me.

    Miki wrote on December 13th, 2012
    • Of course Grok did not create himself, Grok’s parents did :)

      Paleo Bon Rurgundy wrote on December 13th, 2012
      • I would give his mother most of the credit.

        Sarah wrote on December 13th, 2012
  20. The best way to put this is that there is something very visceral in learning primitive skills even if it is just a hobby or play (for Grok a necessity. Humans have been practicing these skills for 100,000s of years. You should see the expression on someone who got a fire by friction fire the first time in their life. Tom Hanks’ excitement of finally making fire in Castaway is just as liberating seeing someone get a fire in the backyard. I got addicted to making/knapping flint arrowheads that it was the first thing I did as soon as I got home in the afternoon. In learning this stuff you get a real appreciation for what Grok had to know and how he saw the world around him. When I drive down a country dirt road I don’t simply see trees, brush, grass, and weeds. I see stuff I can use to make things, cordage. It’s like relearn to see the world anew and one much closer to those ancestral roots.

    Scott wrote on December 13th, 2012
    • Love it!

      Ara wrote on December 14th, 2012
      • It’s fun. Google/Youtube for “wilderness awareness school bird language”. Song birds (the is focus on perching birds) have 5 different basic calls. One of which is an alarm call that alerts other birds and animals (squirrels) to a predictor near by. The average person (including hunters) are unaware of these calls. Our hunter/gatherer ancestors, however, were well aware of them. Learn to recognize these calls and then take that skill to a park and listen and watch the birds reactions. With that goal in mind, your experience of that park will be new.

        Scott wrote on December 14th, 2012
  21. “What would Grok do” makes sense on so many levels of physical health.

    But it also has limitations when asking questions such as “how do I handle this drunk dude in my face at the bar?” Grok would bash him over the head with a rock.

    Do you go into psychological/spiritual issues in the new book?

    Victor Dorfman wrote on December 13th, 2012
    • Maybe, or maybe Grok knew that discretion was the better part of valor and would walk away to avoid a dangerous situation against an unpredictable opponent. Kind of like cornering a wounded boar – just back away slowly until the situation diffuses itself.

      Mark A wrote on December 14th, 2012
    • Yes, and I am procrastinating at this very moment regarding a hefty work task. WWGD: I think he’d say, forget this, it’s boring, and go play. If I did this, eventually, I’d have trouble ‘hunting’ at the supermarket for food. Grok, for better or for worse (both obtained, I think) lived in an environment where feedback was much quicker.

      That said, I agree with the basic premise of trying to reconnect to community and keep one’s physical and mental health in order, and I am certain that Mark’s book will help in this.

      Violet wrote on December 14th, 2012
  22. How do I find myself applying it in my own life?

    Hopefully changing my career from a cushy office job to landscaping and working outdoors (moving frequently at a slow pace, getting enough sunlight, etc).

    Looking forward to the new book Mark!

    Rocky wrote on December 13th, 2012
    • I grew up having to work in the fields (onion harvesting mostly and weeding) after school and during the summer. My Mom always tried to put a positive spin on it by telling us that we were getting paid to exercise (8 hours of walking per day), get fresh air and sunshine, and spend time with each other. We actually had a lot of greet conversations and built a strong family bond. It wasn’t until many years later that I came to truly appreciate this experience. Now I realize that this was primal living in a way. Thanks Mark!

      Ara wrote on December 14th, 2012
  23. I hate to be a wet blanket, but the Mayan appoicolypse isn’t until 12/21/12. Ooops! ;-)

    Doug D wrote on December 13th, 2012
    • You stole my comment about the apocalypse! Hhhahah, well you beat me to it.

      Peacemaker wrote on December 13th, 2012
    • But the book doesn’t come out until January, hence the mention of survival, I’m guessing.

      Jen wrote on December 13th, 2012
  24. About an hour ago I decided to walk to the park instead of continuing to watch TV, and when we got there I purposely faced the sun while I pushed my kid on the swing. I always think of it as “What would Mark do?” though.

    Sarah wrote on December 13th, 2012
  25. Great news on the new book, Mark! Looking forward to reading it very soon.

    Personally, I’m on the Tim Ferriss’ “4 Hour Work Week” path.

    Although having a very automated internet business is probably not what Grok would do, that modern lifestyle allows for the rest of the life to be “Grok Approved”.

    Ferriss’ (who, according to recent interview with Robb Wolf, is a big fan of Paleo/Primal) also promotes Stoicism, and I’ve found that to have many similarities to “Grokism”.

    Primal food for thought.

    William wrote on December 13th, 2012
  26. Madama Flintstonefly, if you’re reading this, you were right!
    I just left the psyche ward about two and a half hours ago.
    I managed to snag a virtually unblemished copy of The Fellowship of the Ring there so the legal-ordered stay was not entirely without merit. Now I’m looking forward to check if the PB and 21 Day Transformation are in stock at this library. I know the 21 Day Transformation was here a while ago as they ordered it after I requested but someone else borrowed it before I got a chance.

    Animanarchy wrote on December 13th, 2012
    • Another good result was of the the blood test. They only had to take two small vials, guess they’ve got some fancy equipment in that hospital, but I said I’d only let them draw blood under the condition I got an Ensure to replace lost nutrients. It worked. And I was enthusiastically informed all the “results are great”.

      Animanarchy wrote on December 20th, 2012
  27. What I like most about the WWGD principle is, that it always gives me an easy answer , in many (maybe all) situations I feel uncomfortable. Before I knew about the paleo/primal solution, I felt physically and emotionally worse, than I feel today.

    Also it puts our live as a human on the earth in a more holistic perspective, because we feel more equality to the human, that has developed a very long time ago, and is still developing. Before, I find, I used to not feel connected to my history and future as much.

    Jenny wrote on December 14th, 2012
  28. Contrary to the main idea that comes with the primal connection, I have found myself pursuing more and more things. I have been primal for a couple of years now and I spent the first year really trying to get away from the stresses in life, taking life slowly, enjoying the little things. In the pursuit of health I had incorporated the things I felt were necessary, ie. proper diet, rest, exercise, human interaction and that gave me resilience in life when needed. I have since realized what the primal blueprint has led me to – an insatiable hunger for life, a desire to push myself to the limit in every faction of life. It has built in me a sense of empowerment. To me WWGD means what is Grok willing to do? Because with Grok’s liberation, it is just a matter of time.

    Bennett wrote on December 14th, 2012
  29. “Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution” – Dobzhansky

    When I apply the “evolutionary lens” to some of my emotions, it is often fairly easy to figure out how these feelings would have served a purpose back “then.”

    Feelings of love, anger, guilt, jealousy, etc. – you can see how these feelings would have shaped your chances of your genes surviving back in the day.

    Kris Gunnars wrote on December 14th, 2012
  30. The Grok-question reminds me of a reasoning, which I think Melissa McEwen of huntgatherlove.com has put forth quite well: with regards to foraging wild edible plants and bucthering animals, if it “were really rocket science, we wouldn’t exist.”

    So, if one assumes that a pre-agricultural human being would have to be at good health in order to become a forefather, then it puts things in a different perspective.

    Then it seems odd, that one would need to brush one’s teeth for them not to fall out, or that shoes with arch support are necessary for a jog.

    Those two examples were easy for me to come up with, since I brush my teeth without toothpaste and have switched to minimalist shoes.

    Troels Rasmussen wrote on December 14th, 2012
    • “I’m not a rocket biologist, but I know a good piece of steak when I see one” – Harley Morenstein

      Paleo Bon Rurgundy wrote on December 14th, 2012
  31. I can’t help but ask myself.. when confronted with a bowl of nachos; a big mac; a tube of pringles; or an entire christmas selection box of chocolates – WHAT -WOULD- GROK DO?!

    Chris wrote on December 14th, 2012
  32. Believing that God sent Jesus to show us His true nature (often in stark contrast to first century “conventional wisdom”), I’ve been pondering Grok. How did God show Grok His/Her (English needs a gender neutral pronoun!) nature in paleo times? Did Grok have his own version of “WWJD”? New to paleo and reading a lot; loved Primal Blueprint and looking forward to your new book Mark.

    Nancy Hill wrote on December 14th, 2012
    • We’ve had one for hundreds of years. It’s “they.” Somebody just got all snitty about it being plural, probably about the same time someone decided to get snitty about splitting infinitives.

      em wrote on December 15th, 2012
      • I don’t think ‘they’ has ever been singular… English’s gender neutral pronoun is “he/his/him”. It’s the same as the masculine pronoun. I think the snitty-ness” came a few decades back when people started to renounce all things masculine. They threw the baby out with the bath-water. Now we end up with silly non-words like “themself.” If ‘one’ would like to not use the masculine to mean a person whose gender is not known or irrelevant ‘one’ is relegated to using the word ‘one’ to accomplish the feat. Luckily society hasn’t gone completely crazy and abandoned the masculine-derived words “woMAN” and “perSON” … =D

        stevoblevo wrote on December 17th, 2012
  33. When only bad food is available I DO think WWGD (fast) whereas before primal I would have thought… well I wouldn’t have thought… Similar things happen at the supermarket. I run helter skelter past the poison (most of it) and find myself lingering over the produce and OMG the organic meat section, drool hanging from my mouth like a lion at the kill site. Sometimes this takes me by surprise so much so that I laugh… as I caress the marbled steak and asses the pork chops, finding those with the most fat on them. Oh and BTW Im a Christian too and I’ve never felt offended by Mark’s beliefs as they are his and he’s entitled to them, just as I am mine. I tell moody uptight Christians that Adam was punished by being told he will have to TIL THE SOIL. But I don’t want to argue theology, I want to embrace the life I’ve been given, and be thankful that Mark has opened my eyes to living a life that is more respectful to both my ancestry AND my God. Thanks mate!!!

    Jane wrote on December 14th, 2012
    • an entertaining documentary on sustainable gardening with mulch: http://backtoedenfilm.com/#movie

      Your “till the soil” curse comment reminded me of it. The gardener says the same thing in the film.

      stevoblevo wrote on December 17th, 2012
  34. after being vegetarian for 30 years because of how animals are treated and then slaughtered, i’m really struggling with eating meat again. I love the philosophy behind all that Mark is saying….i really would appreciate sound advice and ideas. will eating free range animals make a difference?

    Barbara Aquino wrote on December 16th, 2012
    • Hi Barbara, perhaps you would be better served knowing exactly where your meat comes from and the living condition of the animals. You’ll have to do your own research to find a food source near you that treats the animals to your liking. Visit a local farm and see how “happy” the chickens or cows are. Inquire as to how they live (are treated) and how they die (are slaughtered). While it may be hard to watch, the local farmer may allow you to witness. I’m not sure death is ever peaceful or pleasant but I am sure there are ways to reduce the psychological toll on both the animal and the farmer (as I understand it, those who work in meat processing factories aren’t exactly at the peak of mental health). A prominent farmer in the Food Rights movement today is Joel Salatin. I’m sure he has some philosophy on how to reduce that toll. If everyone who ate meat had to witness an animal’s sacrifice at least once in life I have no doubt that things would change and society would demand better lives and deaths for their food.

      stevoblevo wrote on December 17th, 2012
    • Read Lierre Kieth’s book, The Vegetarian Myth. It should help.

      http://www.amazon.com/Vegetarian-Myth-Food-Justice-Sustainability/dp/1604860804

      CB wrote on December 18th, 2012
  35. great post..i really like it

    paket umroh 2013 wrote on January 14th, 2013

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